Makeda Lewis is a 25-year-old artist from Atlanta, Georgia. Much of her work explores themes of self-love, body image, gender, and black womanhood. Lewis recently released her first published work, Avie’s Dreams: An Afro-Feminist Coloring Book. The project, which is both a self-love letter and an adult coloring book, features beautiful illustrations that mix nature and fantasy.
A young dreamer wanders through a personal mythology of women warriors, tropical flowers, and sea creatures. A radically introspective and interpersonal take on the usual coming-of-age tale, Avie firmly establishes her authorial role—and infuses ancient Greek lore, Renaissance scripts, and Hollywood blockbusters with images of afro-centricity and queer identity.
Despite the continued popularity of adult coloring books, few actually incorporate adult literary themes into their pages. Avie’s Dreams is beautifully illustrated, but also tells a complex and challenging narrative of race, gender and sexuality, and body image. Interspersed with lyrics and quotes taken from contemporary Internet culture and modern poetry, the story investigates the trials and magic of a young black girl growing up in the world.